Former DJ Radio 1 captured with indecent images of children on the Plymouth yacht

A former BBC Radio 1 DJ was jailed for having indecent images of children after police raided his yacht in Plymouth.

Former parliamentary candidate Michael Willis, 74, was caught with nearly 500 base photos on his computer equipment, he heard a court.

Willis, who had become the stage name Steve Merike when he was a disc jockey, was a BBC Radio One DJ in the 70s. He was also a DJ on the famous pirate station Radio Caroline.

He also worked on Radio Trent in the 1980s, where a colleague was late television presenter Dale Winton.

A former university professor and governor of the school, Willis voted nearly 10,000 votes in favor of the Liberal Democrats in the 2010 elections.

Judge James Townsend imprisoned him for 18 months at Plymouth Crown Court, his second sentence for possessing indecent images of children.

Mike Willis stands for The Liberal Democrats in the 2010 election
Mike Willis stands for The Liberal Democrats in the 2010 election

Former RAF man Willis was sentenced to a suspended sentence at Leicester Crown Court in 2015. He moved to Plymouth, where he lived on his Appalachian Spring boat in Plymouth Yacht Haven.

Willis denied the possession of 238 indecent images of category A children on his computers, showing that they were sexually raped by adults.

He also denied having 226 category B images.

Divorced Willis pleaded guilty to having only 10 photos of the least serious class, category C, on a memory stick. Police raided his yacht in August 2017.

He took the stand of the witness to declare that he found some of the most serious “absolutely disgusting” images.

But the jury heard that he was also captured with category A images when he was arrested in Loughborough in 2013.

Radio 1 Disc Jockey, Steve Merike, pictured playing a single seven-inch disc on a turntable at a music center in an England house in 1973
Radio 1 Disc Jockey, Steve Merike, pictured playing a single seven-inch disc on a turntable at a music center in an England house in 1973

Willis admitted that he used file sharing software and used typical search times to find indecent images.

But he said he had no idea what the most severe images looked like on his laptop, desktop and memory stick.

A jury quickly dismissed his story and found him guilty of unanimous verdicts after a two-day trial.

Willis pleaded guilty to Leicester in 2015 for nine download counts of indecent images and ills of children between 2006 and 2013.

During the interview he said to the police that he had been “intrigued by the Jimmy Savile affair” and that he wanted to pass on his findings to a sociologist.

Perverted pensioner and former Radio 1 DJ Michael Willis aka Steve Merike
Perverted pensioner and former Radio 1 DJ Michael Willis aka Steve Merike

Willis also told police that while some of the images were downloaded, others appeared because his computer had been hacked.

He was holding the images as he stood as a liberal Democratic parliamentary candidate for Loughborough in the 2010 general election. Willis lost Tory Nicky Morgan’s future secretary of education.

Willis, in the role of Merike, was a presenter of the television show called Pop Quest and he interviewed stars like T-Rex’s Marc Bolan.

The BBC staff website stated that Mike Willis started his career with Radio Caroline and then moved on to a short stint on BBC Radio 1. He worked for BBC Radio Trent in the 1980s.

He ran stations in Australia and lectured on the radio and media.

Willis has also lectured for 15 years at New College in Nottingham and Nottingham Trent, as well as being the governor of several schools in the Midlands.

He also unsuccessfully supported various councils in Leicestershire.

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